Drinks group C&C has reported a near 88% increase in revenues for the year to the end of February and said its new fiscal year had started strongly with more price hikes likely on the way.
C&C said its revenues jumped by 87.8% to €1.438 billion from €765.8m the previous year.
The company also reported adjusted profits of €47.9m compared to an adjusted loss of €63.6m the previous year.
C&C, which manufactures, markets and distributes branded beer, cider, wine, spirits and soft drinks across Ireland and the UK, includes Bulmers and Magners cider, Tennents and Five Lamps beer and Tipperary Water among its brands.
The company said the improved performance was driven by 207.8% growth in on-trade net revenue as a consequence of fewer trading restrictions due to Covid-19 in the year.
It noted that there were 267 days of trading where the on-trade was open across Ireland and the UK, compared with 117 days the previous year.
C&C also saw a strong off-trade performance despite the re-opening of the on-trade business, with net revenues of €376.3m, a slight fall of 3.4% on the previous year.
The company said that recently implemented price increases, hedged positions and cost savings programme have provided a degree of protection against cost inflation.
But it cautioned that additional input cost pressure, particularly at its manufacturing facilities, will likely necessitate further price increases.
C&C said its new fiscal year has started strongly with net revenue 12% higher than pre-Covid levels for the two months to the end of April and 140% compared to the end of April last year.
“The benefit of no on-trade restrictions, easing of the pressures on supply chains and additional public holidays has created a more positive trading environment over recent months,” C&C stated.
C&C said that reflecting its strong balance sheet position and cash flow capability, it plans on paying a dividend in “due course”.
David Forde, C&C Group’s chief executive, said that after a period of unprecedented challenges for the hospitality sector, the company was delighted to be back serving its customers and delivering its brands to its on-trade and off-trade partners.
“Encouraged by the reaction and resilience of the industry, we are pleased with how trading has recovered and the subsequent strength of customer and consumer demand, which we believe reflects the enduring importance of the on-trade and the role that it plays in our society,” Mr Forde said.
“Looking forward, we are operating in an evolving and challenging inflationary cost environment and will continue to monitor this closely over FY2023 and beyond,” the C&C CEO said.
“We have already taken action to afford the business a degree of protection, nevertheless we are susceptible to further increases in our cost base which would necessitate further price increases. Despite the current positive sentiment in the hospitality sector post reopening, we are mindful of the pressures being faced by consumers and its potential impact on future demand,” he stated.
C&C said its Ireland division’s net revenue increased by 34% to €224.3m in the year driven by the re-opening of the on-trade business. The Irish business generated an operating profit of €16.7m for the year compared to a loss of €6.7m a year earlier.
It said that with the re-opening of the on-trade, off-trade net revenues dropped by 0.5% on the previous year.
The Irish business traded directly with 95% of outlets during February of this year compared with February 2020 and C&C said that with the easing of restrictions in January this year, over January and February 2022, on-trade volumes were at 84% of the equivalent time in 2020.
During the year, its Clonmel manufacturing site invested €4.8m to eliminate single use plastic for all canned products from January 2022, as a result removing approximately 150 tonnes of plastics from C&C products.
The Clonmel site has also invested in the largest rooftop solar panel farm in Ireland which will generate 10% of the site’s electricity requirements going forward.
“Further enforcing our sustainability credentials, we are now the only significant drinks manufacturer to use returnable pint bottles,” C&C said.
The company said its Great Britain division’s net revenue jumped by 102.8% to €1.214 billion, driven by the reopening of the on-trade from May 2021, with strong growth in its branded volumes.
As a result, C&C said the division generated an operating profit of €31.2m compared to a loss of €56.9m the previous year.